Forum: Good time for schools to test e-learning capabilities

A Primary 4 class in Nan Chiau Primary School, where mobile technology is used in teaching most of the science curriculum.
A Primary 4 class in Nan Chiau Primary School, where mobile technology is used in teaching most of the science curriculum.PHOTO: ST FILE

In line with Singapore's aim to be a Smart Nation, schools have rightly invested in e-learning platforms.

In fact, schools have even implemented E-Learning Day, when students learn from home instead of going to school.

The suggestion to give parents the option of taking their children out of school and letting the children learn via e-learning from home until the risk of local transmission of the coronavirus has subsided is a good one (Give option to take kids out of school, by Ms Teo Leng Lee, Feb 12).

It should be noted that students' risk of exposure to the coronavirus does not merely occur in school but in their commute to and from school as well.

Even if schools are safe, the commute will put students at risk of exposure to the virus since it has already spread within the community.

Advancement in digital technologies should transform the way we live, learn, work and deal with crises.

The current crisis gives schools the opportunity to test their e-learning capabilities and to make improvements where needed.

Giving students the option to e-learn from home will not only allay the concerns of parents about their children's exposure to the coronavirus, but also enables schools to test the capabilities of their e-learning platforms over a period of time.

Schools should take the opportunity to gather feedback from such students to improve their e-learning platforms.

Feedback from a single E-Learning Day would not be as informative as feedback gathered over a longer period of time of e-learning.

It is timely for schools to assess whether their investment in e-learning platforms has practical benefits. Ultimately, the proof is in the pudding.

Elle Grace Tan

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 14, 2020, with the headline 'Good time for schools to test e-learning capabilities'. Print Edition | Subscribe